Archive for December, 2009

Going Crazy part 8

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment

I walked to the ticket counter and got in the line. There was an older guy and we struck up a conversation which struck me as eerily significant. He seemed kind and I felt safe for the first time in a good long while. When I got to the counter I told them i would like a ticket to Detroit and gave them the confirmation number. She asked me where I would like to sit and i said i would like to sit next to the previous gentleman. She said he was flying to North Carolina or some such place and asked if I wanted to go there. I considered it for a moment,  and said no i had better go to detroit.

I headed for the gate. I remember being tripped out by the signage with looking at the Dutch and English words and thinking of different interpretations. seeing hidden messages. everything had ominous overtones.

I got to a waiting area by the gate. i left my jacket on the row of plastic seats and went in the bathroom and washed my face. I rinsed my mouth out with water but didn’t drink any. I had gotten spooked about whether you could drink tap water in Europe and hadn’t been drinking for a long time. I had no thirst and at the time this had stopped concerning me and was just the way it was.

I came out and put my jacket back on and paced until it was time to go. But first questions. “Did you pack your own bags?”

I struggle with how to answer, “Um, I don’t have any bags, I lost them.”

“Did your items ever leave your sight since they were packed?”

“No?” pause “Oh wait. I wasn’t thinking of it as an item because I’m wearing it but I left my jacket on a bench while I was in the bathroom. I’m sorry I just wasn’t thinking.”

“OK sir, could you please come with me.”

“Oh sure”, I said. I followed him back into a small room and answered more questions to another guy. I told him I had lost my bags with my plane ticket and i didn’t know where. He asked me again and i told him i’d checked them into a locker and lost the key. Another guy looked through my jacket and I pulled out my pockets. They went ove”r my passport carefully took my hemp wallet looked at it and handed it back.

“OK sir, you can go catch your plane.” I stepped out of the room and into the already moving line to board. My heart was beating fast but i also felt in a groove falling out right into the line. As we entered the door of the plane being greeted by the flight attendant I thought I saw an attendant nod her head towards a small door with stairs up.

I turned from the line climbed the stairs and sat down comfortably in the back of first class.

Categories: insanity, travel, Uncategorized

A Holiday Letter

December 21, 2009 1 comment

Its been a busy year hear at Leslie Lane. We began the year with a leisurely new years open house with gift exchange with my como friends who also travel for the holidays. Mimosas were served and a good time was had by all.

Columbia had a mild winter and I did quite a bit of winter gardening. I put in tulips and daffodils that i got for a buck at wallyworld and the tulips came out loverly in the spring. I’m hoping the daffodils just got off to a slow start. I had greens under a cold frame and had finished compost by march for the spring beds.

Corri Flaker and I went down to Brazito to the Missouri Wildflower Nursery early and I put in a lot of native wildflowers to launch the spring. The tomatoes struggled and the regular garden got a late start because of our family trip to California in May.

Dad, Myrtle and me rode out in Dad’s big Ford 250 and drove madcap out to Mesquite NV. We rested up for a day and a half and drove on up to the Bay to see John. It was nice to see the Woolsy crew and my biggest disappointment was not making the effort to get out to Concord and see Jeremy and Julie.

We day tripped to Yosemite which is always cool and then tooled on down to Joshua Tree. We camped in BLM land amidst the refuse but the dogs ran free and the target shooters didn’t even come close. Dad climbed a mountain and didn’t get down before dark. John went after him. I set the stage for pretty much a sedentary year by watching from camp.

We did up Joshua Tree and saw the park from end to end. We did a little climbing but mostly a driving tour. Saw a desert tortoise and a rattle snake. The beavertails were in flower. It was a great trip.

We got a room early to watch the season finale for Lost. We had people over to watch every episode. Folks even came over when we were gone. Our 40″ tv is big for my friends.  Well halfway through the season finale the tv lost ABC and i still haven’t seen the end. Our Lost circle is growing so it should be a good crowd for the last season.

On the drive back we stopped by the Meteor Crater in AZ as well as Petrified Forest National Park. We took it easy on the way back and had a lot of fun and saw more stuff.

After our vacation the big event was Harry Train finally moved down in July. I am still hoping to land him a job at my shop. Its been nice having another housemate although I have to admit i miss having a guest room. Had to buy a futon for the living room when John came through in September. With Harry living here started playing a lot of D&D again. Also started rewatching Lost. We’re up to season 5 now and I am looking forward to seeing it again. Planning a big party for opening season on Ground Hog’s Day.

In September John visited every weekend. He floated a chunk of the Missouri during the week a couple times and I bought his canoe when he was done. Its a cute little thing, very responsive, with seat backs and cup holders. “The Cadillac of cheap canoes”, John called it.

Most of my other big purchases were house related. Eric carved out a window between the kitchen and dining room. Really opened it up and put in wood counter top in half the kitchen. I want him to do the other half when he has the time. It came out really nice. Also painted the master bedroom and Harry’s room. I also have windows on order, all of them but the garage and living room ones. I also put in some extra insulation. I used the rake-able kind which was pretty cool, didn’t have to get the blower and allowed me to better target where i needed it. Still need about 5 more bags which i need to buy before the end of the year. I also got 3 rain barrels which Dad has assembled and we will be launching in the spring.

The truck is still running. 168K and a rubbing timing belt make me hesitant to put money in it but will probably invest in a couple new tires anyway. Except for the water pump, the truck had a pretty good year.

With Harry we also added Vinnie, a Persian Kitty with a lot of personality. He nipped our mouse problem in the bud. Some months after that we added Oni, the little white beagle dog who hasn’t pissed all over the furniture in weeks. Dad got her from a homeless guy he gave a pair of pants to once. Its a long story.

Almost forgot I finally quit smoking on 2/10/09. Picked up a big chewing gum habit but am smoke free in a way i haven’t been since i picked up my first pack.

Work has gone mixed. I completed my grant and lost my program. Have been doing a lot of grant writing trying to restore it. Got licensed as a substance abuse counselor and got elected to the steering committee of the Missouri Cadre for Co-Occurring Excellence. I am a vanguardest at last. Nice to be doing organizing again I must say. I am pushing the group on consensus. People are into it. People are hungry for meaning.

Also started doing a group on COD and picked back up doing a batterer intervention group for Family Counseling Center. I got nominated for a Mental Health Champion award but wasn’t the most successful crazy person last year. It was fun nonetheless.

Health wise we all do pretty good. Dad is a bit more short winded and is looking into adding Medicare Part D and maybe a breathing med. I’ve had heartburn a lot and thought about getting checked for an ulcer but have mostly just tried to chill out more. Myrtle continues to breathe hard but she’s still into playing and such.

All in all 2009 was a pretty good year. This whole stability thing is still novel enough to be entertaining. I work too hard. My new year’s resolution was to prioritize self care and i have found that to be hard. This year i am going to walk, walk and write it down. I think i am going to hike some AT this summer and want to start training for it. I am optimistic on 2010 and grateful for all the blessings I have received.

Categories: Uncategorized

Going Crazy part 7

December 20, 2009 4 comments

I took some of the change from the smokes and called the tarot reader. There were names of a couple on the answering machine, but not my guy, and i left a message for the guy that i would get back to him. I walked to the main train station and bought a ticket for Schipol. I got to thinking of a conversation i’d overheard about Dennis and his buddy getting stopped on the way out of Amsterdam a few days ago and getting busted for some small amount of drugs they had forgotten about. I began to wonder if they were set up which made me wonder if someone had hidden drugs in my gear. I started to look through my good old army backpack that had seen many miles over many years and realized it was too full of nooks and crannies for me to ever be sure someone hadn’t stashed something in there. I decided it was best to stash it for now and put it in a coin operated storage locker at the train station. I put the ticket in my pocket surreptitiously checked the schedule and slipped on the train just before it moved out hoping to shake any tales.

I arrived back at Schipol and checked the KLM desk. They had no record of my lost ticket and told me a new one would be $3,000. I was stunned and thanked them and walked to another part of the airport. I was unsure of my next move but thought i had better check in with my family as my “friends” were probably back in the states by now.

I purchased a phone card which was most of my remaining money and called my folks. I talked to my mom and my brother had just called having picked up my friends from the airport and myself not being there. He had told her they had said I was acting crazy and had gotten separated. He was pretty angry at them leaving me.

I told her they were trying to pressure me into smuggling drugs and had taken my plane ticket. I told her I had checked on it and it was $3,000 dollars for a new one. I had limited minutes and she told me she would check on a ticket and to call back in an hour. I told her i would.

I went to a smoking area and chain smoked cigarettes until I thought i was being watched and i wandered off. The lighter I realized I had taken from the mind spa when my lighter had died. I wondered if there was a transmitter in it. I decided I should go through my pockets and get rid of anything not essential. I had lots of stuff and i just started throwing it all away. I kept only my passport, some change, and my wallet which i went through carefully throwing away a lot of business cards and phone numbers of folks i had met during my stay. I didn’t know about any of them anymore. The hardest thing to toss was the ticket to get my backpack but there was no going back now.

I called my folks and my dad answered. He told me they had gotten me a ticket and all i needed to do was go to the ticket desk and give them a confirmation number. He asked me if i had a pencil. Damn I had thrown all of that stuff away. I started asking people walking by. I’m not even sure if they spoke english. My Dad stopped me after about 5 times. “Your just going to have to memorize it. Here, Here is how to do it. It starts with MPCH, that’ll be Mickey Please Call Home”. He went on to make up a mnemonic for the 15 digit code of random letters and numbers. He wove in birthdates and catch phrases and had me repeat it back to him twice. I told him I had it and they said they would meet me at the airport in Detroit.

Categories: insanity, travel, Uncategorized